2012 BMW M5 plows through the rain

A little less than a year from going on sale, the new BMW M5 bahn-stormer was caught in the wilds of the California freeway system yesterday, wearing BMW's trademark camouflage wrap on just the tips of its go-fast aero bits. While we've already driven it, even we haven't seen it this naked. Until now.

Shown as a concept at the Shanghai motor show last month, the next M5 will sport a twin-turbo V8 expected to be good for 578 horsepower and 530 pound-feet of torque — a spritely jump in output from the beloved V10 in the current M5. That force will be routed through a BMW 7-speed transmission and a limited-slip differential, allowing a 0-60mph time of just more than 4 seconds.

View gallery »

While the rest of us will have to wait for the Frankfurt show in September to see the BMW fully revealed in the metal flesh, loyal Fast Lane Daily viewer Fred K. was able to swing these shots. Those 20-inch tires really tie the car together.

More photos to the left.